Are All Calories Created Equal?
Many people believe that all calories are created equal, whether they come from protein, carbohydrates, or fat. But is this really the case? According to some recent research, it's not quite that simple. One study in particular suggests that the body processes different types of calories in different ways, which affects your ability to lose weight and keep it off.
Why do we care? Because when those single calories start adding up, so can the extra pounds. The number of calories you consume and use up during the day is directly related to that number you see on your scale. So let's dive into this minuscule source of energy and take a look at why it can build up into a source of some big questions.
In labeling food products, a food calorie refers to a kilocalorie, or 1,000 calories. So 1 kilocalorie (1 food calorie) is the amount of energy needed to raise 1 kilogram (1 liter) of water by 1°C. The kilocalorie is a measure of the amount of heat energy (or metabolic energy) contained in the chemical bonds of foods.
So does this mean that the calories in a piece of chocolate are the same as the exact same number of calories in an apple?
In the laboratory, a calorimeter can be used for calculating the heat of combustion of a substance, including calories. However, the human body is not as straightforward as a calorimeter, as it doesn't digest all food components. Therefore, some calories are lost in waste and it is difficult to accurately account for such losses.